Call Center In India - Call Center Industry in India
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Call Centers & Health Problems
Outsourcing tech jobs to India is not only causing turmoil for workers in the United States and Europe, but for Indians as well. An estimated 50,000 young English speaking Indians who work in call centers in India, are exposed to a host of health problems. Because of the time difference between India and the United States, the work for these workers in call centers in India starts late in the evening and extends until dawn. Such odd hours bring in a host of health problems including digestive diseases, hair loss, back pain and stress.
Some girls develop menstrual problems. Orthopedic problems and sharp increase in smoking are common features. Assuming a foreign accent for long periods causes sore throats. Though call centers in India claim that they try to make life better for the workers by improving the overall work environment. However much being said and done, there is no alternative to a good night’s sleep. Employees in call centers in India finds it difficult to have a positive outlook towards life, because everything seems dark and gloomy when one works at ungodly hours.
Not surprisingly, the attrition rate is high in call centers in India, as 30-40% of the workers quit in a year. But they are quickly replaced, as they are quickly replaced because there are enough English speaking youngsters in India available for jobs that pay $160-$300 per month.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Stress Hovers Over The Call Center Industry
Long hours of work, permanent night shifts, incredibly high work targets, loss of identity… are these the dark clouds hovering over the call center industry in India. Many of these youngsters between 18 and 21 years are seeking counseling. These call center employees come seeking help for work-related stress, irregular sleeping hours, unhealthy food habits and chronic fatigue. Although most of such cases do not require treatment or medication, they need guidance on physical and mental co-ordination to cope with a job that requires hyper-alert efficiency.
Today most top executives acknowledge that a steady attrition rate is an inevitable aspect of the call center industry. The reasons for this could be boredom with the job, seeking better prospects or a change, or even the failure of the call center to effectively train employees to stay at the job.
Some call centers in India have started looking foe counselors to refer employees with problems. No call center in India actually retains psychologists or counselors, perhaps wary of even admitting to work related stresses and problems.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
STOP FEEDING THE IRATE CALLER!
Call centre managers in India often take calls from irate customers that get out of hand and get transferred to them by the call center executives. The number of irate calls has increased dramatically over a period of time. The fact is customers have become more demanding. In short, customers want the same things they always wanted.
Callers want very basic things, accurate information, solutions to their problems, apologies if they have been disappointed, professional and courteous responses and a commitment to resolve their issues with a company’s product or service and when it will be resolved.
This is what happens when a call from an irate customer calls. The Indian call center representative feels defensive, the irate callers want to call and the call centre representative wants to explain company policy, which the caller doesn’t care. The Indian call centre representative tries very hard to think about excuses and may not hear the real “hot button” the customer is explaining.
The Indian call centre representatives want to explain how these things can happen and the caller does not want to be educated. The biggest challenge that these call centre representatives have is trying to fix the problem before they fix the customer’s feelings.
In summary, the Indian call centre representatives are “feeding the irate or angry customer” And what happens? The customer gets stronger, insists on talking to someone else and the poor call centre manager has to bear the brunt of it.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
When the Call Center Enthusiasm Dampens
When a fun loving city graduate joins a call center in India, in addition to commendable command over the English language, the employer sees a lot of enthusiasm and positive attitude in him or her while hiring. However, the new call center employee’s zeal dies in the first few weeks. Despair and illusion sets in and the final outcome is that he or she quits the job.
Little do these call center employees realize that instead of fun, what lies ahead of them is much hard work and stressful days. The repetitive nature of the job and repeated rejections from clients are key factors that dishearten the Indian call center employees.
Interestingly, attrition is the biggest challenge faced by call center industry. But in India the attrition is in the range of 35-40%. Ideally, the attrition levels could have been much lower in India considering the fact that, unlike the West and Europe, no other industry gives easy job opportunities like the call center industry.
Indian call centers by and large, look for English language and general attitude, while various crucial factors like- the right fit for the job profile, are ignored. The Indian call centers have time only for hiring, what is lacking, is a structured and robust hiring process.